Welcome to 2023!!!

Three gnomes sitting behind a sign reading "Welcome" -- the gnome on the left is wearing a blue hat and is holding the sign, the gnome in the middle is wearing a red hat and is adjusting his hat, and the gnome on the right is wearing a green hat and holding the sign.
Three gnomes sitting behind a sign reading “Welcome” — the gnome on the left is wearing a blue hat and is holding the sign, the gnome in the middle is wearing a red hat and is adjusting his hat, and the gnome on the right is wearing a green hat and holding the sign.

It being the new year… has some meaning, I suppose. I’ve never completely understood the new year thing aside from it being a really handy placemarker for our brains to be all, “Starting over time!”

I do like mental “starting over” placemarkers so there’s that.

And this is the best starting over time I’ve had since… the beginning of 2018.

That’s a lot of years and more stories than I could probably ever tell!

My hope for everyone I’ve ever known (and for anyone who reads this post whether I know you or not) — is that this may be your best starting over time ever!

Obviously keep going with the things that are working — not everything needs to be starting over just because it’s the “new year.” But here are a couple starting-over advice tidbits that have served me well over the last few difficult years:

First of all:

Let people misunderstand you. This is a hard one for me because I have a serious desire to be understood, but some folks are really determined to not understand. Still others will never understand you or your experiences because they’re not capable of it.

So, hard though it may be, let people like that keep their misunderstandings — the more you try to explain, the more information they’ll misunderstand.

Nobody truly understands anyone else anyhow so that’s a thing I’m planning to let go of as I get another year older.

Secondly:

If people don’t want you in their lives, then take your badass awesome self to another group or create your own! Sticking around where you aren’t wanted can be downright creepy and it’s not a good situation for anyone really.

So move on! As quickly and thoroughly as possible! Protect your peace and let them have theirs as well.

Right around the beginning of 2019 I cut several folks out of my life (because they didn’t want me in their lives) and my experience has been much the better for it. I expect their experience has been better for it too and that’s what we call a win-win situation 🙂

Finally:

On the flip side of that, if you don’t want other people in your life then remember that it doesn’t matter who they are, what diagnoses they have, or how they’re related to you (as long as they aren’t your minor child) — you can *cut anyone out of your life if you don’t want them there and you don’t even need to give them a reason!

Revel in your freedom to choose who you surround yourself with! It’s incalculably valuable and I highly recommend it.

May this new year find you free of unwanted people!

*Beware that some folks might get weirdly aggressive when they aren’t granted access to your space or time any longer, but that’s their problem not yours! Stay firm in your boundaries (and call in reinforcements if someone becomes violent or overtly aggressive in response) because you are allowed to choose who has access to you, your space, and your time. 

The above bolded there is important to remember for neurodivergent and traumatized people especially because many of us were taught that we had to cater to other people’s needs and wants above our own, which can lead to dangerous situations where we feel trapped and unable to escape.

Our needs and wants are just as valuable as anyone else’s and we have the right to either severely limit or completely avoid unwanted contact from others.

Protect your space, protect your peace! The mental freedom is worth it.

Welcome to 2023 ❤

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